Spy already touched on this but, in the event you missed it, I’m going anyway.
Transformers Classics, and its sequels Universe 2.0, and the up coming Generations, is a resurgent passion, for me. I’d been away from Transformers for a long time; can’t stand the movie stuff, but, recently, I’ve found myself back into the Classics and enjoying them more than I’ve enjoyed any Transformers since Generation 1 mesmerized me as a kid.
In addition to the coolness of the characters and figures themselves, I put my TransRenaissance down to two things.
They’re both fan passion.
This is Transformers Classics Ultra Magnus. He was a Target Exclusive a few years back and, as you can see, he’s little more than a repaint of Classics Optimus Prime. This is certainly appropriate as, back in the G1 days, the heart of Ultra Magnus was, indeed, a white Optimus Prime.
But, back in the old days, Magnus’s trailer transformed into a mess of armor and weapons to add to him, thus creating the stalwart commander of Autobot City in earnest.
Well, maybe Hasbro was somehow able to replicate that in Classics without the trailer. Let’s see…
Nope. Pretty much just a white Optimus Prime.
Enter a company called Fan’s Project.
I don’t know who these people are, how many they are, or where they’re from, (perhaps someone can educate me in the comments) but I do know this; Fan’s Project is all about what happens when passion meets ability.
Hasbro looked at their white Optimus Prime and said that’s Classics Ultra Magnus. Fan’s Project looked at him and said that’s just the beginning.
Everything you see up there than wasn’t in the first pic is Fan’s Project’s creation. The colors match, the trailer fits perfectly on Magnus without any sort of adapter, even the wheels match.
All well and good, I hear you think (cuz I’ve got it like that), a trailer is one thing, but there’s no way a group of fans could recreate Ultra Magnus’s robot mode; there’s just too much to it.
Well, you thought wrong.
White Optimus is in there, I assure you, but you’d be hard pressed to know it with all the additions Fan’s Project created to make a true Classics Ultra Magnus. Best part of all, nothing’s flimsy. The parts snap on and stay on, the legs in particular are perfectly engineered to attach to the existing Prime legs. Magnus’s existing weapons even attach to the back of the Fan’s Project armor and all of the figure’s original articulation is preserved (in fact, the FP armor even adds wrist swivels).
So, when I saw the level of passion and triumph of design and execution now present in the Transformers Classics fandom, I knew I had to be part of it.
But how did I know it was out there?
That’s the other aspect of my renewed love of Transformers; the video reviews. Call it something usually attributed to savantes, but I am addicted to Transformer video reviews, particularly those of a YouTuber calling himself Peaugh. It’s gotten to the point where watching this guy transform his figures, and indeed changing my own Transformers, has become a sort of relaxation therapy for me.
Anyway, want to see how Hasbro’s Classic Ultra Magnus becomes Fans’s Project’s Classic Ultra Magnus? Peaugh’ll show you…
In case you’re wondering why my Ultra Magnus has the cool white rifle and double shoulder missiles and the one in Peaugh’s review doesn’t, well…there’s a reason for that.
I didn’t have to tape the missile pods, by the way.
Whether it’s a passion for showing the world what’s in the marketplace, or indeed for creating things for the marketplace, fans are becoming more and more influential in the toys they, and others, buy and enjoy.
I find it inspiring.